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Issue - meetings

Library Services Review

Meeting: 25/01/2011 - Cabinet (Item 187)

187 Library Review

*  Report of the Corporate Director, Community Services is circulated.

Supporting documents:


Public Participation




The Leader reported receipt of questions from Mr Arthur Lomax and Mrs Barbara Lomax who separately sought a reclassification of Tisbury library and sought an assurance that the services of the Librarian would be retained. The questions and responses from Cllr Thomson, Cabinet member for Adult Care, Communities and Libraries were circulated.




Mrs Sandra Harry on behalf of Tisbury Parish Council provided a statement as circulated at the meeting and although generally supportive of the initiative expressed concerns over the timescale for implementation. She also explained her Council’s aspirations for and extended and much improved library.


Mrs Rachel Hyde made a statement in which she expressed concerns over any measures to reduce library provision at Mere.


A statement supplied by Jackie Hopkins was circulated opposing any measures to reduce library provision at Mere.


The Leader read out a statement provided by Rev Hazel Barkham opposing any reduction in service at Mere Library.



Prior to the public participation outlined above, Cllr Thomson presented a comprehensive report on the outcome of the review of library services and sought Cabinet approval of the proposals contained therein. The report proposed a positive vision and strategy for the library service in Wiltshire, following wide ranging consultation, details of which were outlined in the report. It would enable the Council to provide a professional, comprehensive library service, using funding more efficiently, keeping customer satisfaction levels high and reduce operating costs. It also responded to the challenges facing the Council following the reduction in central Government funding and contributed to the broader goals of the Council and Big Society objectives.


Cllr Thomson stressed that given the rural setting of the County the mobile library service would be retained and that the proposals did not involve closure of any libraries.


To achieve the vision, make the savings required and open up a wide range of opportunities for volunteers and communities to extend provision from a standard set of hours would require the introduction of self service using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for which there would be set up costs as detailed in the report.


Investing in RFID technology would enable the Council to provide:


·         21 Council operated libraries

·         5 mobile libraries including a special service mobile

·         10 libraries operated in partnership with local communities funded, supported and stocked by the Council

·         Opportunities for volunteers to extend the opening hours available at many local libraries and to make best use of staff to keep libraries open for core/streamlined hours

·         12% budget savings of £505k achievable in 2 years as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review

·         Increased opportunities for financial transactions between the Council and its customers.


The library service would work with communities and GROW, the Community Voluntary Service to enhance community support on volunteering projects. Based on current numbers of volunteers, Cllr Thomson was confident that sufficient volunteers would be available to extend opening hours.


Cllr Thomson made a couple of amendments to the proposals as presented. In response to consultation responses  ...  view the full minutes text for item 187




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